Department of Social Work
MSW Regular Program Application Information
The 2020 Admissions Cycle is now closed. The 2021 Admissions Cycle will open in Fall 2020.
The MSW Regular Program at MSU Denver is fall-start only
Please note: All information on this page is in reference to the 2020 Admissions Cycle. We cannot guarantee that information and requirements will remain the same for the 2021 Admissions Cycle.
The application deadline for the 2020 Admissions Cycle was January 15th, 2020 at 11:59 PM. We will not be accepting late applications.
If you are planning on applying to the MSW Program for a fall 2021 start, we recommend signing up for our prospective student list. The Office of Social Work Student Services will send you information via email about our program, application cycle, and important dates and deadlines.
Non-Degree Seeking Status
Students may be admitted to the MSW Program with non-degree seeking status. The deadline to apply to take MSW Program courses in fall 2020 as a non-degree seeking student is July 1, 2020. Approval will be determined based upon an evaluation of the applicant's undergraduate GPA, previous coursework, application materials, and program capacity. for more information on applying.
Important Dates and Deadlines
The MSW Program at MSU Denver has one admissions cycle annually. The application typically opens in early September, with a priority consideration deadline in late October and a final deadline in mid-January.
Application processing takes 10-12 after the deadline to complete, and applicants are notified of their decision via email.
Exact dates and deadlines for the 2021 Admissions Cycle will be posted to this page when available.
Priority Consideration Deadline Overview
Applicants who submitted all their materials by the priority consideration deadline have their application reviewed during the fall and early winter by the MSW Admission Committee. Those ranked in the very top of the pool of applicants are granted early admission to the program, granting them a head start on:
- Preparing to start the program
- Securing a field placement
- Registering for classes
All other applicants who submit their application by the priority consideration deadline have their application rolled forward and receive their admission notification after the final application deadline review period.
Regular Program Eligibility
- Have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants with a cumulative GPA below 3.0 may still apply for admissions. If accepted, additional stipulations or conditions will be part of the admission decision;
- Have completed, or will complete, a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university prior to the fall semester in which the student begins the MSW program;
- Undergraduate course prerequisites as indicated below;
- Completion of all required application materials as indicated below. The application materials for Regular Program applicants consist of several components.
*Applicants who received degrees from outside the United States should contact the department to determine eligibility
Additional Eligibility Requirements for International Applicants
International students must:
- Complete all of the same requirements as domestic students;
- Achieve a minimum score of 76 on the internet based TOEFL. For more information on testing options and support for international students, visit the Office of Graduate Studies at
- Submit the required immigration documents for issuance of an I-20;
- Complete the Office of Graduate Studies affidavit for financial support form which can be downloaded at
Undergraduate Liberal Arts Prerequisites
MSW Regular Program applicants are required to have the following undergraduate course content areas completed prerequisites completed with a "C" or better before the fall semester in which they start the program:
- At least 3 credits of course work in social and behavioral sciences (sociology, psychology, economics, political science, cultural anthropology, etc.) centrally organized around contemporary multicultural or diversity issues.
- At least 3 credits of course work in social and behavioral science centrally organized around American Government (not U.S. history). This will typically be a political science course.
- At least 3 units of course work in human/general biology OR
At least 6 units of course work in natural and physical science (chemistry, physics, geology, etc.)
- At least 3 units of course work in basic statistics (not research methods)
The undergraduate course content areas listed above must be present on the student's official transcript, but should not be officially transferred to MSU Denver. Course equivalency will be determined by the Office of Social Work Student Services. Please visit our FAQ page for more information on courses that meet each requirement.
Required Application Materials
- MSU Denver Graduate Program Application
- $50 Application Fee
- Three Letters of Recommendation
- Official Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
- MSW Program Application Materials
- Professional History Form (a professional resume is optional)
- Admissions Essay (prompts will be provided)
The MSW Admissions Committee, which is comprised of faculty members, will review complete applications only. Applicants who submit incomplete applications will not be reviewed by the admissions committee and will be denied from the program. After the MSW Admissions Committee receives and reviews the application the applicants will be notified in writing of their status. Applicants may be: accepted, accepted with conditions or stipulations, waitlisted, or denied admission. In some cases, the Admissions Committee may require an interview with the applicant before an acceptance decision can be made. Students should check the MSW Program website for admission timelines.
Students who are accepted into the program typically have no additional obligations to fulfill and will receive an admission decision notification (electronic) from the Social Work Department including a welcome letter, program criteria (program, course delivery, and enrollment status), and a link to the new student pages containing next steps, information about the field placement process and an advising snapshot of the academic program they have been accepted into. The advising snapshot serves as a contract between the student and the department and cannot be altered without the approval of an advisor. Students will be required to confirm their acceptance and program criteria at the time of admission to the MSW Program to secure their "seat". The process by which to confirm enrollment will be articulated in the admission decision notification.
Accepted with Stipulations:
Students who are accepted with stipulations into the program typically have additional obligations to fulfill either before the start of the MSW Program and/or within the first 6 credit hours of enrollment. This could include, but is not limited to: course completion, low GPA, or other items that are not in compliance with program eligibility standards. In some cases, the Admissions Committee may decide that an applicant is only eligible to take certain coursework during the first year of study under specific guidelines. These criteria, including timeline, will be outlined in the admissions decision notification (electronic). Students who do not fulfill the obligations of their stipulations will be dismissed from the MSW Program.
Students will receive an admission decision notification (electronic) from the Social Work Department including a welcome letter, program criteria (program, course delivery, and enrollment status), a link to specific information about the stipulations that must be met, and a link to the new student pages containing next steps, information about the field placement process and an advising snapshot of the academic program they have been accepted into. The advising snapshot serves as a contract between the student and the department and cannot be altered without the approval of an advisor. Students will be required to confirm their acceptance and program criteria at the time of admission to the MSW Program to secure their "seat". The process by which to confirm enrollment will be articulated in the admission decision notification.
Waitlist status may be extended to eligible applicants in the case where program capacity has been reached.
The Admissions Committee reserves the right to deny acceptance of any applicant. Applicants who submit incomplete applications, including transcripts and additional admissions materials will not be reviewed by the admissions committee and will be denied from the program.